Racial Equity Network

Racial Equity Network
The Racial Equity Network is composed of community foundation teams. Fred Blackwell, pictured here, was on the San Francisco Foundation team.
The Racial Equity Network is comprised of community foundation teams who are working to advance equity in their communities while also helping to shape the practice and thinking of the broader community foundation field.

The United States faces enormous disparities in all aspects of well-being. Health, education, economic security, neighborhood safety, transportation access, and many other outcomes vary tremendously by race, ethnicity, education and income.

We recognize that these disparities are interconnected, and that pursuing racial equity will take a multi-sector approach with many partners bringing different tools to the table to advance the work. Community foundations — with their local knowledge and relationships, independence, philanthropic assets, and public charity status — are uniquely positioned to help.

About the Racial Equity Network

The Racial Equity Network (formerly Equity Network) is a community foundation issue network managed by CFLeads, with PolicyLink as a content partner. Using a proven model of peer learning and community leadership that we have been refining over the past decade, we responded to community and national foundation interest in advancing racial equity by creating the Community Foundation Equity Network in 2017. This peer network allows for community foundations interested in equity to come together to better understand and make progress on the issue.

Each cohort of the Racial Equity Network is made up of teams from six to ten community foundations across the country, with four- to six-person teams including the CEO, board members, senior staff members, and community partners. These community foundations are already committed to and working on issues related to racial equity, both internally and externally. The Network is designed to help them better understand the issue, advance particular outcomes and build peer connections.

With its unique combination of content expertise, peer learning and community leadership guidance, the Racial Equity Network is helping to create a growing network of community foundations that are insisting on racial equity. Scroll down to learn more about our current and past cohorts.


A fabulous, one-of-a-kind, team-based approach to deepening your leadership work internally and externally. Powerful learning for community foundations of all sizes.
Fred BlackwellCEO, San Francisco Foundation and Cohort 1 Participant

Network Structure

Each Network team takes an iterative, problem-solving approach to a self-identified challenge related to racial equity. The teams meet in person three times over a year.

These meetings include:

  • Team presentations on their progress addressing their equity challenge;
  • Presentations and technical assistance from outside content experts on relevant topics;
  • Structured peer advising;
  • Team action planning;
  • Informal networking time.

Desired Outcomes

The Network is designed for members to:

  • Increase their knowledge of the historical and contemporary racial equity context nationally, regionally, and locally;
  • Increase community foundation and community stakeholder awareness and understanding of strategies that increase racial equity;
  • Build internal capacity to advance equity strategies;
  • Build external competencies to advance equity strategies;
  • Make progress on their racial equity challenge;
  • Strengthen connections with like-minded peers with whom they can call upon for advice and support.

If you are ready to get serious about growing your equity muscles, take the dive into emerging yourself and your team with the loving support of CFLeads. It is transformational!
Racial Equity Network Cohort 2 Participant

Racial Equity Network 2023-24 Cohort

Applications are opening soon for the 2023-24 Racial Equity Network Cohort!

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Contact

If you have any questions about the Racial Equity Network, please contact Leonard Brock at lbrock@cfleads.org or 617-854-3549.

Racial Equity Network Alumni

Previous cohorts of the Racial Equity Network.

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